With the sights of Northwestern sports fans focused almost solely on the football team's upcoming game in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1, the men's basketball team has rolled to a 12-1 start to the year, its best non-conference mark since the 1930s. The Wildcats, though, will face a new set of challenges in Big Ten play on their quest for the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance, with the initial one coming against Nebraska on Wednesday afternoon.
The Cornhuskers (8-5) are a young team that has been up-and-down all season, having played a much tougher schedule than Northwestern. That fluctuation has seen Tim Miles's club play good Cincinnati and Miami teams close but also lose to Samford, as it did last week.
For Northwestern, the gameplan starts with generating inside scoring without senior center Alex Olah. Point guard Bryant McIntosh bailed out the Wildcats in a come-from-behind win over Loyola (Maryland) on Sunday as Chris Collins and co. couldn't get any consistent post scoring from its big men. The Wildcats have a size advantage over Nebraska and it will be important for them to take advantage of it.
We look forward to talking some Big Ten hoops with you below. If you need broadcast information, we have it for you here.